August 26, 2012

Cutdowns Made As Saints Cancel Practice

The annual roster cutdowns in the NFL are going to be especially length this year, with the offseason roster increase to 90, teams must cut almost half the players from their training camps.

Teams must get down to 75 players by Monday at 3pm CST, and down to 53 by Friday night at 8pm CST.

The Saints will return home after their preseason finale Thursday night in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, which is currently drenching the Florida keys.  The team cancelled practice on Monday to help players and staff prepare for the hurricane and potential evacuations as the New Orleans government has declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm.  

Interim head coach Joe Vitt said on Sunday, "It was our recommendation that [the squad] evacuate their families and then we will give the team off tomorrow so that they can further seek shelter for their families. They firmly understand that."

The 15 cut players have already been told, but they have not been publicly announced as of Sunday night.  Vitt: "What we had to do today was we had to have exit meetings with 15 players. We had to expedite that process because of the weather.  I would ask you to not ask questions on that, that has not been released. We notified the players. They know. That happened today."

The Saints may decide to leave for Tennessee on Tuesday morning, a day earlier than usual, with the storm expected to make landfall somewhere between Florida and Texas on Wednesday.

Vitt said the Saints could leave as early as Monday if necessary: "We do have a contingency plan that we can evacuate [Monday]. Instead of going to Tennessee, we would go to Cincinnati. Those things have already been laid out. We wanted to give our players time to get their families out of town and to a safe place."

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